"Day Trip Drivers" Bali Tourist Trap Tip by gaudygoddess
Bali Tourist Traps: 111 reviews and 70 photos
I was in Bali a few months before the bomb and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I stayed in Nyuh Kuning which is an hour's walk from Monkey Forest Road in Ubud. Our little group decided to book a taxi for a one day trip around the Island. We negotiated the price and the next day, we set off. First place was the hall of justice. This guy in the hall just came up to us and started chatting and offered to be our guide, no price was mentioned. Then at the end of the tour (which was so boring) we offered him some money. He had the cheek to ask for more. Then we went up to the terraced rice fields and stopped for lunch. Our driver took us to one of those restaurants which offered "wonderful" views of the rice fields. We went in. Gasp! All of them were caucasian tourists (we are Malaysian Chinese) and we sensed a rat. The food on offer was buffet style of Indonesian food. The price per head was equivalent of USD10 per person! We were absolutely pissed off. The table cloths were filthy and still had bits of food left on it. We marched out, with the driver following us. He came out after discussing with the restaurant owners and offered the buffet at half price, we declined. A few steps away was a warong serving local food to local people. We had our meal there and of course we would have been scammed there too but we ended up paying less than USD10 for 4 of us to eat. I forgot to mention that to get ourselves out of this without hurting anybody, we staged a mock argument in Chinese to throw the driver for a loop, distract him. After that, he did not bring us to any tourist trap anymore. Another tip about the Ubud Market. Avoid buying any spice there. What they were trying to pass off as saffron powder is actually some other very cheap spice. Anyway, saffron is not grown in Bali at all.
Unique Suggestions: Do use a driver for a day trip but remember, whereever he is taking you, he is bound to try to make some money off the people who sold stuff to you, so if you don't want to be ripped off, save your shopping for some other day. Do not be afraid to decline to eat at some place they bring you, tell them you want something cheaper. But if you're not used to the food, it may be wise to stick to where you see other tourists eating. I guess it was easier for us (they thought we were Japanese at first) when we suddenlly conversed with them in Malay.
Fun Alternatives: Always read up about the place before going and talk to people. MAP OUT YOUR ITINERARY first. We were in Bali during Nyepi day when the whole of Bali was shut down (including the airport) I was advised by my local travel agent not to go there as there would be nothing to do on that day but I did and spent the whole day relaxing at the pool. The whole place was so quiet, no cars and motorbikes were running. And at night, the village next to the resort we stayed in held a giant effigy burning ritual and we observed it, free of charge. He also advised me for a first timer in Bali to stay in Kuta but again I declined as I was not into that kind of lifestyle where you'd find pools of vomit all over the place. Diffrent strokes for different folks. Nevertheless, i had a great time in Bali!
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